Ensuring Access To Quality Healthcare
Key to improving the health and lives of all Washingtonians is increasing access to healthcare. Having insurance is a critical part of access and a predictor of regular primary health care.
Survey data from the federal Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFFSS) in 2004-06 shows that 82 percent of Washington residents with health insurance reported having a Health Care Provider compared with only 41 percent for uninsured adults.
Affordability: Average premiums in WA state rose by nearly 14 percent in 2016-17.
Supply of health care providers: A shortage of health care providers across the spectrum, from nursing assistants to specialty care physicians, is a barrier for accessing healthcare.
Culturally-competent care: Patient-centered care and cultural competence has a direct, positive impact on health care quality.
Technology: The need for telehealth and remote patient monitoring is growing as an effective method for increasing access, particularly as a result of specialty care shortages and geographic disparities.
- The WA state Health Care Authority administers the federal Medicaid program through Apple Health, provides behavioral health and recovery services and prescription assistance
- The state Department of Social and Health Services provides and administers long-term care services to eligible individuals and collaborates with Area Agencies on Aging to share community service options.
- The state Department of Health supports health systems planning and development in Washington’s rural and underserved communities to improve health and healthcare access across the life span.
- The Health Care Authority also administers health care for state government employees and retirees.